Tributes have been paid to the founding member of the Lisburn North Community Association who passed away, recently.
James (Jimmy) Millar (77), who set up the group 30 years ago, died on October 3 at Craigavon Hospital.
Originally from Ambleside at Ballymacoss he had been a resident at Lagan Vale in Moira and had two sons Gary and Gordon.
“The entire community in Ballymacoss and Ballymacash area will miss the larger than life character that was Jimmy Millar,” said MLA Jonathan Craig who led the tributes.
“He was an individual who selflessly gave up his time to serve his community and he did so well. He was recognised for his work and given the Mayor’s Award for volunteering.
“The major improvements in Ballymacoss and Ballymacash and the community house wereonly there because of him.
“The traffic lights in Knockmore and Winderemere were there because of his strong lobbying.
“The 300 social housing at Ballymacoss and Windermere are only there because of the lobbying from him and residents. When you look at it, he did so much for the area and did it in such a selfless way.”
A spokesperson for Lisburn North Community Association said they regretted the passing of their ‘great friend,’ ‘chairman’ and ‘community worker.’
Jimmy had recently retired due to ill health but it was the suddenness of his loss that came as a shock to all those who knew and cared for him.
“Jimmy was well known across the city for his involvement in community work; his wit and down to earth approach to life ensured he was someone who could fit in any boardroom,” the spokesperson continued.
“His passion for those he represented meant that he worked tirelessly to increase social housing in the area and improve the safety of local residents.”
However, it was his involvement with senior citizens groups for which Jimmy will be most remembered. He established The Wednesday Club for senior citizens.
“He was also ahead of his time when he introduced a Holiday Club,” the spokesperson added.
“This became the centrepiece of the club’s programme with an annual holiday to Wales and Blackpool and regular shopping trips across the province.”
Jimmy and his committee celebrated the success of the club set up 30 years ago.
As well as a strong sense of community spirit, members had access to a weekly housing surgery facilitated by NIHE. Health initiatives and fire safety demonstrations ensured the Wednesday Club was well placed to serve its members.
“Jimmy’s legacy will be treasured and built on as the committee headed by Mrs Margaret McIlmail will continue to deliver a service to and for its members,” the spokesperson concluded.